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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    “Program’s myths, facts discussed by director”


    Although ASUA SafeRide has already given more than 50,000 rides this year, director Joshua Wright says he still hears many rumors about the service that circulate the UA campus. However, many of these misunderstandings are actually based on facts about SafeRide’s regulations, rules and history.

    Myth: ‘SafeRide will not drop passengers off at fraternity houses.’

    False: Wright said students are often under the false impression that the Associated Students of the University of Arizona SafeRide will not drop off at fraternity houses. Wright said he thinks this misunderstanding stems from the fact that SafeRide will not drop off passengers at a location where it knows a party is occurring, which often happens at fraternity houses.

    “”We don’t just arbitrarily stop (serving locations),”” Wright said. “”We investigate.””

    Wright said if SafeRide receives an unusual number of calls requesting to be dropped off or picked up from a certain location, it will send a field supervisor to investigate.

    Myth: ‘SafeRide will only pick up two passengers from any one location.’

    True and False: Wright said it is true that SafeRide will only pick up two passengers at a time if they are being dropped off at the same destination. However, if three or more people call from one location but need to be dropped off at different locations, SafeRide will arrange to take them all.

    “”If they were walking, they’d have to break up (and endanger their safety) anyway,”” Wright said.

    Wright said the intent of this regulation is to make sure that SafeRide is truly being used to protect passengers’ safety, because people are much less likely to be assaulted when they walk in large groups than when they walk alone or with one other person.

    Myth: ‘If you call SafeRide, then ditch the car that comes to pick you up, the SafeRide operator will record your phone number and ignore the next time you call.’

    False: Wright said because SafeRide operators receive hundreds of calls every night, they don’t have the time or resources to remember phone numbers or keep a registry of people who have chosen to ditch their vehicles.

    “”We have no way to record the phone numbers,”” Wright said. “”We have caller ID, but it’s not like they’re saved in any kind of bank or anything.””

    Leah Weinstein, a pre-nursing freshman, said she knows that SafeRide doesn’t have the capabilities to record phone numbers because friends who have ignored their rides have not been prohibited from using the service.

    “”They just don’t have very detailed information,”” Weinstein said.

    Myth: ‘SafeRide will not drop anyone off where alcohol is being served.’

    True and False: Wright said that although SafeRide typically does not drop off at locations where alcohol is being served, there are exceptions to the rule. Wright said on rare occasions, passengers will be asked to be dropped off at their fraternity houses or apartment complexes because they just want to get home and are not planning to drink or partake in a party. In this event, Wright said the operator or driver will usually ask the potential passenger questions like the name of the president of the fraternity, the address of the house or the number of the room he or she lives in. If the operator determines that the passenger is just trying to get home safely, he or she will be dropped off nearby. However, Wright said 90 percent of the time, that isn’t the case, and the caller cannot answer any questions about the location he is asking to be taken to.

    “”Most people just know there’s a party and that that’s where they want to be,”” Wright said.

    Myth: SafeRide Director Joshua Wright proposed to his wife Melissa Wright via SafeRide walkie-talkie.

    False: Wright said that although he did meet his future wife for the first time when he hired her, the words “”will you marry me”” have never crossed SafeRide radio waves, to the best of his knowledge.

    However, there is some truth in the myth. Wright said he was able to keep his proposal a secret by sending his soon-to-be fiancǸe out to pick up a passenger. When she returned, she found a banner asking her to marry him in front of the SafeRide office. Wright then used his walkie-talkie to ask her to get out of the car where he proposed to her in person.

    Wright said although he thought the location of the proposal was appropriate because the couple met there, they didn’t take their affinity for SafeRide to the extreme.

    “”We didn’t have a SafeRide-themed wedding or anything like that,”” Wright said.

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